Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has joined the list of Midwestern governors issuing disaster proclamations as frigidly cold weather starts hitting the region .
Pritzker released a statement Tuesday noting that plummeting temperatures are expected to hit Illinois on Tuesday and stay through Thursday morning. The Democrat calls the weather "potentially historic."
Forecasters say the temperature in northern Illinois could dip to negative 27 degrees (negative 33 Celsius) with wind-chill values as low as negative 55 degrees (negative 48 Celsius).
National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Miller called the frigid weather "life threatening." He says records going back to the 1800s could be broken. He also notes that frost bite is possible within 5 to 10 minutes.
Governors in Wisconsin and Michigan have also declared states of emergency ahead of the cold snap.
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